BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge has temporarily restricted wolf hunting and trapping near Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and imposed tighter statewide limits on killing the predators, over concerns that looser hunting rules adopted last year in the Republican-controlled state could harm their population.
State officials authorized the killing of 450 wolves during the winter of 2021-22, but ended up shutting down hunting near Yellowstone National Park after 23 wolves from the park were killed, most of them in Montana.
Conservation groups last month sued over 2021 laws passed by the Legislature that were intended to curb gray wolf numbers by making it easier to kill them. The laws allowed the use of snares, which some consider inhumane, and led to rules that allow individuals to kill up to 20 wolves each — 10 from hunting and 10 from trapping.